I’m a difficult guy to excite when it comes to poker… Having started when No-Limit Holdem was the ‘brand new thing’ I have seen just about every format, variation and innovative twist appear over the years. It all gets a bit ‘yeah – whatever’ in the end. Then, in 2014, not one but two new things have come along which made me think that, well, maybe there is life in the old online poker dog yet!
One of these snuck in almost unnoticed from PokerStars – their ‘Progressive Knockout’ games (currently a $11 / 180 Sit N Go). The other one is from iPoker, and are called ‘Twister Jackpot Sit N Goes’). I’ll start with the progressive knockouts:
New Poker Games In 2014 – PokerStars 180 Progressive Knockout Sit N Goes
A little bit of a mouthful, but a simple enough concept. This game starts with an $11 buy-in and every player is assigned a $5 bounty – which appears in a little tab next to their chip-count at the tables. When you knock someone out, part of their bounty ($2.50c to start) goes into your account. From the description at PokerStars the increase percentage can vary – though it is currently 50%, so if you knock someone out whose bounty has gone to $7.50, you’ll get $3.75c and your own bounty would increase from $5 to $8.75.
This gets more exciting as the game goes on as bounties hit double figures, at the final table $30 bounties abound (well, you get $15 and $15 on your head, though you’ll keep any remaining bounty payment if you win the tournament).
I really liked this twist.
With the 180 in Beta mode I fully expect this variation to hit the bigger Multi-Table Tournaments very soon. If it gets into one of the big buy-in events then there could be some massive bounties in play.
Strategy should be fairly similar to a standard knockout tourney – I guess people will get more desperate to bag the biggest bounties, so you might find some good squeeze / 3-bet light spots (or even induce them!).
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Easy – head on over to www.pokerstars.com now, because those Knockout 180’s will not stay this easy to beat for very long!
New Poker Game In 2014 Number 2 – Titan Poker Twister Sit n Goes
This is a cool new game, so cool that I had to stop after writing the title and play a couple more (one lost, one win both at double my stake – so I guess that means Titan win…).
Twisters are 3 handed super-turbo Sit N Goes with a built-in randomizer in the prize pool. Before each game starts you see a ‘wheel of fortune’ type wheel. Where it stops designates the prize pool for your game. At $1 buy-in this is between $2 and $1000, for $2 up to $2000, and the same for $5 / $5k and $10 / $10k.
Most of the games I played were double-ups. Which means the prize pool is less than the buy-in. I did get one $20 prize at the $5 level, and a $6 at the $2 to balance this a little.
The standard of play is terrible, making these super-easy to beat for anyone who does not mind a few beats here and there. Just to give you an example, someone defended their blind with 4-7 off, then called an all-in with a gutshot, another all-in call with 8-10off… and if you think this was at the $1 level, well, you’d better think again.
After 15 games at different levels I have yet to see the same opponents twice, which shows they are busy, you can play up to 6 at once and expect them to be over in 10 minutes. The strategy is a mix of heads-up and standard super / hyper turbo Sit N Go strategy… no point hanging around, you need to get those chips in!
One annoying glitch still exists when you start a game. You choose your buy-in, and then hit a ‘Play’ button… only to get a pop-up saying the game is full, sometimes 3 times in a row. This is careless programming, they really should put someone willing to spend a buy-in into a queue for the next available game without trying to discourage them! Anyway, not the biggest deal – in fact the easy money from the curious recreational players makes these a must-play at the moment.
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I am about to update my main (detailed) info articles covering these game types, you can find them with the links below.
PokerStars 180 Player Sit N Goes
Lets hope that there are plenty more game innovations to come in 2014 – and that they are all in the direction of bringing the fun element back into online poker.
GL at the tables, Mark
Submitted by Planet Mark on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 08:44